West Valley Boys & Girls Club
The West Valley Boys & Girls Club is applying for a My LA2050 Grant to help support our Future Ready program. We have re-branded our long existing College Bound program to be named Future Ready. The goal of Future Ready is to ensure that Club members receive the support needed to graduate high school on time and upon graduation, have a plan or the future. The program aims to bridge knowledge and skills gaps by integrating career exploration, college pathway support, and other Club programming.
Please describe the mission of your organization.
The mission of the West Valley Boys & Girls Club is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible adults.
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
- San Fernando Valley
In what stage of innovation is this project?Expand existing program
What is the need you’re responding to?
Through recent surveys and focus groups conducted by Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), teens are telling us that they need workforce development opportunities to help prepare them for a great future. When asked what they would like to see more of at their Clubs, career exploration and job readiness were among the top three responses. When asked about future aspirations, teens continue to report that having a steady job, being successful in work, and providing a better life for their children are key priorities.
Future Ready is a total comprehensive program to help young people develop a plan for their futures. The goal is to ensure that members receive the support needed to graduate high school on time and upon graduation, have a plan for the future. Our program aims to bridge knowledge and skills gaps, particularly for at-risk youth, by integrating career exploration, college pathway support, and programming throughout the Boys & Girls Clubs of the West Valley’s programs.
Why is this project important to the work of your organization?
Through focus groups and a survey at a recent Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) Keystone Conference, teens identified workforce development as a beneficial tool for recruiting and retaining more members. Survey results highlight specific needs identified by teens, including learning about college life, wanting access to jobs and internships, and workforce development. Being financially secure was identified as a top priority. According to the Center on Education and Workforce at Georgetown University, it is projected that 5 million jobs will go unfilled by 2020 because of a lack of “postsecondary credentials.” Future Ready helps break the cycle of poverty by giving underprivileged kids the tools they need to earn a high school diploma and be prepared for their futures with a concrete plan. Our program intervenes at a critical time, providing resources to which our students would otherwise lack access.
Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?
- Direct impact
- Indirect impact
Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.
Youth from our communities face various challenges and barriers that put them at risk for gang involvement, crime, dropping out of school, substance abuse, and higher health risks. Our Club is located in Canoga Park, where over the last six months, per the LA Times Neighborhood Mapping Project, the crime rate is 210.8 crimes per 10,000 people. Additionally in Canoga Park, 23% of households have an income of less than $20,000; and only 18% of residents age 25 and older have a four-year degree. Our Club is uniquely positioned to meet these needs as we are rooted in our community, have the capacity for youth outreach, have a long history of successful programming, and are viable organization with proven programs and strong partnerships.
Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.
The focus of Future Ready is to ensure that our teen Club members have a plan after high school, whether it be going to college, learning trade or going right into the workforce. While going to college has statistically proven to be a strong foundation for future careers, many of our youth feel that college is not for them and aspire to explore other avenues to a successful future. Our vision for this initiative is to promote the development of critical employment skills among our youth through research-informed youth development practice, training and experiential learning opportunities that lead to first-job readiness and a plan for pursuing postsecondary education and/or career aspirations. We are uniquely positioned to impact the development of America’s future workforce through targeted education, training and a pathway-driven youth programming.
Goals for Future Ready are:
- 95% of participants will be at grade level proficiency or better in basic academic skills
- 100% of 8th grade participants will successfully transition into high school
- 90% of senior participants will graduate from high school
- 75% of senior participants will enroll in college
- 80% of senior participants will apply for financial aid
- 90% of senior participants will have a completed resume and cover letter
- 90% of senior participants will have participated in a mock interview
- 95% of senior participants will have a plan towards their goal
Expected outcomes are:
- Participants will have a better understanding of how their interests, skills and talents play a role in their career exploration and planning.
- Participants will have a plan for their futures.
- Participants will have a change in behaviors and attitudes towards college and planning for a career.
- Parents will have a better understanding of how to support their children and their futures.
Which of the learn metrics will your submission impact?
- Enrollment in afterschool programs
- College matriculation
- High school graduation rates
Are there any other LA2050 goal categories that your proposal will impact?
- LA is the best place to CREATE
Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?
- Access to the LA2050 community
- Communications support
- Strategy assistance and implementation
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